I am probably marginally less seaworthy than when I left as the reduction in my midriff probably means I would be less stable in the water and unlikely to float belly up. I’ve also got funny bumps on my biceps and legs which might reduce buoyancy. This increases the need to ensure I stay in the boat and to remain aware of possible disasters…….
Such things came to mind as I watched the lifeboat return this morning towing a yacht whose skipper sounded defeated and tired on the VHF, as he replied to the lifeboat crew’s instructions. Further away Dom, who is skippering his little yacht around Britain anti-clockwise and who has had the same rubbish weather as Team A-Jay, has also been brought in under tow from a lifeboat. Poor Dom is currently at home nursing a very bad back. Good luck Dom and hope you are sailing again soon.
In Dublin a 60 year old skipper was winched off his boat but died later of a heart attack and on the way to Holyhead, the Coast Guard asked if anyone had seen a certain yacht in the last 12 hours. All this I suppose, just shows that one is but a stroke of misfortune from disaster when at sea, so I’ll go on working at staying in harmony with Team A-Jay, in an effort to invite rather than repel Lady Luck.
On a happier note there is a Dragonfly nearby, which those who have been bored rigid by me about these boats will know, has much the same effect on me as the automobile had on Toad of Toad Hall! I just have to try one of these things before they lock me up.
Yesterday I belted off down the 1.7 mile breakwater, before heading out for a steak and chips at a nearby hotel, where I enjoyed a lobster salad instead. Today a visit to the Maritime Museum found me with a personal guide, who regaled me with many stories including that of a famous local skipper who carried a pet raven on his shoulder. This bird had a party trick. If it spotted a dog it would feign death throes near the edge of the breakwater; the dog would charge off to finish off the raven, who would cunningly take flight at the last second …. and the dog, unable to stop, would continue over the breakwater.
I am feeling smug as the Skipper’s dobey is flapping wetly in the cold breeze and the sun is shining warmly in contrast, the water tank is full, diesel topped up and the passage plan is in the making as I scribble this despatch. The Willis Master Plan should see us departing North into the middle of the Irish Sea tomorrow morning, destination Isle of Man where I hope to anchor off the South coast. I guess we’ll see our old friend Johnathon Swift shoot past again, as we make our stately way.
All being well, Team A-Jay will then continue North towards the underbelly of the Western Isles. I shall be sorry to leave Holyhead, which is a brilliant place.